What will people tell you the Czech Republic is known for? Well, certainly beer, then also Antonin Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana, Václav Havel, Franz Kafka, the soccer player Pavel Nedved and goal keeper Petr Čech, but what else? We can’t forget to include the Czech hockey team with its living legend Jaromir Jagr! Czechs of all ages, across social statuses, men as well as women are obsessed with hockey when some big event is coming up. Czechs are known to travel half way across the globe to support the Czech team and will gladly use up their precious holidays to be able to enjoy the game when it happens to take place during the work week. Many would tell you that ice-hockey is not only the most popular Czech sport, but also the most popular Czech religion. This is especially true during the Olympic games or the World Championship, and the Ice Hockey World Championship is right around the corner!
The Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany and France
The Ice Hockey World Championship will take place from 5th May until 21st May in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. The Czech hockey team will be playing in Group B and the first match will take place on 5th May at 8:15pm against probaly the best team of the tournament Canada. The playoffs will start on the 18th May and if the Czech team makes it to the final, all Czech Republic will be on its feet on 21st May 2016 from 8:45 pm. What might be disappointing to some is the fact that the most famous Czech ice-hockey player, Jaromir Jager is not playing for national team any more. He announced the end of his participation in the Czech national team last year after the World Championship in Prague, where the Czechs placed 4th. But there are other good players, who play in NHL like David Pastrňak and Tomas Plekanec.
What will be going on in Prague
During the championship (if the Czech team does well), the normally calm and boring Czechs feel much more energy and national pride. You might see Czech hockey team jerseys, hats and scarfs in the street. There will be much more Czech flags on display in windows and on cars – normally you will see the Czech flag only on the Czech Parliament (slight exaggeration). The pubs will be crowded during the matches. Those with big TVs are already taking reservation for the playoffs! It is also common for the city of Prague to erect a big screen during the playoffs directly at Old Town Square for everyone to watch together. If you desire to purchase some Czech team gear, head to big Testo supermarket at Anděl.
Overall, if you will be in Prague during this time and will see people celebrating dressed up in Czech jerseys, ask them how the Czech is team doing, and enjoy the more relaxed locals. Češi do toho! Let’s go Czech!